Chronic inflammation can signal diabetes, heart disease, lupus, Alzheimer’s, or Celiac disease. Recognize the serious inflammation signs.
6 Serious Inflammation Signs
Skin health often provides a window to overall health. While inflammation is an internal problem, acne, rashes, and swelling can sometimes offer serious inflammation signs about what’s happening inside our body.
Inflammation is part of the body’s response to injury or infection, making it a necessary part of the healing process. However, chronic inflammation can signal such diseases as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. It can also signal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, and lupus.
Below, I’ll highlight the top 6 signs of internal inflammation that you should look out for.
Sign #1: Acne
Acne is often caused by excess oil production, hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess activity of a type of hormone (androgens). It can also be one of the serious inflammation signs. Two kind of more serious stress- and hormone-induced acne are acne rosacea (redness and visible blood vessels in your face or small, red, pus-filled bumps) and painful cystic acne (painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin). These kinds of acne often require a doctor’s attention and internal and external treatments.
Sign #2: Puffy Joints
Chronically inflamed joints – inflammation not associated with an injury – are often serious inflammation signs. Joint pain, joint redness, and joint swelling can signal internal inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout.
Sign #3: Eyelid Swelling
Serious inflammation signs can include eyelid swelling and itchiness, which can signal allergic reactions or environmental allergies. Eyelid swelling is often treated with antihistamines and steroids.
Sign #4: Rashes and Eczema
Malar rash (a butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks), other unexplained rashes, and eczema flareups often signal autoimmune inflammatory skin conditions. By identifying the molecular pathways of the inflammation, it’s often possible to block molecules at various points in the pathway to minimize symptoms.
Sign #5: Photosensitivity/Autoimmune Symptoms
Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Serious inflammation signs can occur in many different body systems, including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. These serious inflammation signs include malar rashes, joint pain and swelling, photosensitivity, and mouth sores. Immune-suppressant medications can reduce these symptoms.
Sign #6: Ulcers, Blistery Skin, and Dry Skin
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition. Chronic inflammation can lead to ulcers (open sores) in your digestive tract, including your mouth, anus, and genital area.
Celiac disease, on the other hand, is an immune reaction to eating gluten. Over time, intestinal damage can cause diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, and anemia, along with other gastrointestinal issues. Some people who suffer from Celiac disease experience itchy, blistery skin rash and joint pain. Topical anti-inflammatory ointments and gluten avoidance are the most common treatments.
Psoriasis is a chronic itchy skin disease that can crop up when inflammation occurs. Psoriasis usually results in red patches of skin covered with thick scales, cracked skin that may bleed, itching and soreness, and swollen and stiff joints.
Serious Inflammation Signs
If you experience any of these serious inflammation signs, you should talk to your doctor. In addition, if you haven’t already, you might consider adopting an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of high-fiber, nutrient-rich foods that reduce inflammatory responses, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices.
An anti-inflammatory diet contains high amounts of antioxidants, which are reactive molecules in food that reduce the number of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in the body that may damage cells and increase the risk of certain diseases. It also helps to reduce your stress levels and get more sleep.
Serious Inflammation Signs: Herbal Remedies
Paeonia lactiflora (White Peony) is traditionally used to support a healthy immune system and healthy inflammation response. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic auto-immune issues. Frontiers in Pharmacology provides a science-backed confirmation of this traditional use:
“TGP [total glucosides of peony, a water/ethanol extract of the root] exerts anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators. … TGP was also reported to have protective effects of cells against oxidative stress. … The anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of TGP provide the therapeutic basis in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.”
Terminalia chebula (Haritaki) is a great choice to support digestive health and reduce inflammation. In addition to being able to support a healthy inflammatory response, Haritaki is immunomodulatory, meaning it balances the immune system. Terminalia extract has been investigated for its effect on cell-mediated and humoral components of the immune system. In an animal study, Terminalia stimulated an increase in the concentration of antioxidant enzymes, GSH, T cells, and B cells, all of which play important roles in immunity. Read the Terminalia FAQ.
Vaccinium uliginosum (Bilberry, Bog Blueberry) also has very high antioxidant content and can help protect against sun damage and oxidative stress. Vaccinium is great at reducing inflammation and acne. Read the Vaccinium FAQ.